FAST (Fashion and Student Trends) is an organization at UC Berkeley that is dedicated to showcasing student designers by holding a fashion show every semester. FAST was started in 2005 by students who wanted a creative outlet, but weren't necessarily trained in fashion design. The show is student run, and designs are brought to life from sketches by students themselves. It's like the finale of Project Runway--just without the competition and judges.
There were several stand-out designers who offered not only well-made but cohesive collections centered around the theme of 'X'.
Of course, more seasoned designers delivered some of their best work to commemorate this event, and the time they spent on their collections showed: their concepts were expertly delivered by the clothing.
Shahir Shukor (top) was inspired by the intersection between traditionally "masculine" and "feminine" silhouettes, drawing inspiration from classic Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Tina Xu (bottom) had a collection of beautiful dresses in shades of red, black, and gold. She was inspired by the Baroque movement, as well as the concept of dreams and illusions--as personified by opium poppies--calling to mind Marchesa's Fall 2015 ready-to-wear collection.
For Soazig Kaam (top), bright colors and African fabrics (yes, imported from Africa) are a mainstay in her collections--you can tell it's hers with just one look. She continues to outdo herself, continually using innovative cutting and draping techniques to create beautifully structured garments. Zackary Harris (bottom) debuted a collection that transitioned from bright red to black, which at first glance, may seem to send a pessimistic message. However, someone I look up to once told me that we often do our best work during dark or challenging times. His designs are a testament to that, and also sends the beginnings of optimism: when everything might be pitch black, even the faintest of light shines.
On the top is a dress I designed for my collection that was inspired by the concept of transformation. On the bottom is a dress by Grace Kim. Among the newer designers, who are all extremely talented, I particularly enjoyed her work. While she only used two colors in her collection, cream and silver, her use of texture and form really pushed them to become more sculptural and high-fashion. Truly, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of her dresses in museums someday.
While many of FAST's designers graduated this semester and will be taking on the world by storm (so watch out for them), I have faith in every single new designer: with the amount of skill they already possess, they have the stars at their fingertips. I believe that FAST must do their utmost to support them in semesters to come--after all, they are what defines FAST, they are the crown jewels.
This semester's show signified a lot of endings, but at the same time provided the necessities to begin something new--X symbolizes change, and what better way to celebrate the end of a decade with a hopeful look toward the future?
All photos are credited to Dickens Chong.